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fried polenta cakes
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5 from 4 votes

Fried Polenta

Get the air fryer out for a delicious fried polenta recipe. This tubed polenta recipe is quick and easy with a Mediterranean twist! And, if you don't have an air fryer, baking is an option. You will love these fried polenta cakes!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Entrees, Small Bites
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 92kcal


  • 1 14 ounce Package tubed polenta, cut into half inch rounds
  • 1 pint Grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 15 oounce Can white beans, drained I used Cannellini beans
  • 2 Tablespoons Red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic glaze Plus extra for drizzling on the top
  • ½ cup tofu feta cheese or vegan feta of choice
  • cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk I used oat milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning


Bruschetta Mixture

  • Combine the tomatoes, garlic, onion, white beans, ⅛ cup of parsley and basil, and 2 Tablespoons of balsamic glaze.
  • Stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator covered, so the flavors enhance.

Vegan Whipped Tofu Feta Cheese

  • Place the vegan tofu feta cheese and the plant milk together in a small blender cup and blend until smooth.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator while cooking the fried polenta.

Preparing and Cooking the Polenta

  • Cut the polenta tube into ½-inch round slices.

Air Frying

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Season both sides of each polenta cake.
  • Place a single layer of polenta cakes in the air fryer pan.
  • Cook for 15 minutes until crispy.


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Season both sides of the polenta cakes.
  • Place the polenta cakes in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Cook for 30 minutes until crispy.

Making the Mediterranean Fried Polenta

  • Place the cooked polenta cakes on a platter.
  • Add a thin layer of whipped tofu feta cheese with a butter knife.
  • Using a spoon, add a Tablespoon of bruschetta topping to each polenta cake.
  • Sprinkle with the additional basil and parsley.
  • Drizzle with additional balsamic glaze.


  • Although many people suggest drying the polenta tube, I suggest leaving it wet, so the Italian seasoning sticks to it.
  • You do not need oil or cooking spray on the baking sheet or air fry pan. The moisture in the polenta keeps it from sticking to the air fry pan or parchment paper.
  • Seasoning both sides of the polenta cakes with Italian seasoning for extra flavor.
  • To make pretty drizzle marks on the top of the fried polenta cakes, put the balsamic drizzle into a squeeze bottle.
  • Serve cold or hot. Once the polenta is cooked, it remains solid and crispy.
  • If you have leftovers, I recommend keeping the polenta cakes, vegan whipped feta cheese, and the bruschetta topping separate.
  • If you have extra bruschetta topping, add it to the top of toasted sourdough bread, on top of pasta, crackers, or cucumbers. Another great way to enjoy the bruschetta topping is on top of or inside your favorite Mediterranean Tofu Scramble.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1423IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg